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Ever listen to right wing radio?  I do.  I typically stream progressive radio through my computer during the workday and listen to Sean Hannity (or others) on my way home.  Here's the question of the day:  Are they ignorant or just stupid?

It is not uncommon for pundits (of either political stripe) to defend their side.  But the lengths the people go to on the right, is simply absurd.  During the "sex scandals" of Haggard, Foley, Vitter, Craig (etc. etc. etc.), the right-wing talking class simply would not be outraged by the hypocracy of these "leaders."  Stupid or ignorant?  It's laughable how riduculous Larry Craig was/is for all of his indignant behavior during the Clinton impeachment, only to get caught with a dick in his mouth.  Not a word, not a peep from the Hannities of the world.  Just defense.

The "law & order" party, the strict constitutionalists.  They should be up in arms about the confessed BREAKING OF THE LAW within the hiring practices at the Justice Department.  Nothing on the radio.  Nothing.  Stupid or ignorant?  Move along now...nothing to see here.

On climate change, they mock the consensus of the world scientists.  The debate on whether or not the globe has a "fever" is over.  The debate needs to change as to what we do about it.  But by never moving the conversation forward, nothing changes.  We're forever defending SCIENCE!!!  Ignorance or stupidity?

Bush hands the next president a $450 BILLION deficit.  This is the party of fiscal discipline?  Do you hear the right-wing punditry talking about how their leaders went astray?  Nope.  You hear them say things like "If Obama becomes president, it will be the end of the United States."  What kind of inanity is that?  Stupid or ignorant?

And what is this of them calling it the "Democrat" party?  Are they trying to goad me?  Are they serious?  At this point, I just say "Stupid."  That is my conclusion.  They're just stupid people.  That doesn't mean they don't have talent.  For as stupid as O'Liely is, he has on screen talent.  As does Limbaugh, etc.

What do we do when we are surrounded by stupid people?  To this, I wish I had a definitive answer.  Do you?

Originally posted to BayAreaKen on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 02:03 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They think that if they (3+ / 0-)

    don't talk about it, it didn't happen. Kinda like playing peek-a-boo with a toddler. They think if they can't see you, you're not there, right?

    Same thing. No difference to my mind between pretending it never happened, and the revisionist history which will inevitably follow.

    "Pictures are better than words, cause some words are big, and hard to understand." Peter Griffin.

    by Leigh3352 on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 02:05:41 PM PDT

  •  I Work Out Of My House, So I Don't Drive Much (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JohnGor0, BayAreaKen, Leigh3352

    but when I do I always listen to the local Clear Channel station (Bill O, Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Savage). Now they are all terrible, but my gosh Savage is out of freaking control.

    I have actually thought more than I care to admit about if they believe what they say or if it is just a way for them to make a lot of money.

    Personally I really only think Ingraham believes what she says. I think Savage is just legally crazy and might not even know what he believes. And I think both Bill O and Hannity just realize this is a way to make a boat load of money. They may believe some of the foundations of what they say, but they morph it into something that is pretty far away from reality.

    I mean their spiel is so transparent I could host any of these shows and know exactly what to say. I mean they've been using the same messages for the better part of 15-20 years since Rush started doing it in the late 80s.

    Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

    by webranding on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 02:15:01 PM PDT

    •  I read up on Savage (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BayAreaKen, webranding, bythesea

      after his ridiculous comments last week about autism. Of all of them, I would be inclined to believe HE believes what he says, along with Laura. Strike that - I think they all believe what they say. But for as out there as Savage's opinions are, I truly think he buys his own bullshit. He's all into alternative medicines, which explains his disdain for doctors and conventional medicine.

      It's always hard for those of us with liberal/progressive value sets to understand that, although these people are seemingly insane, a huge segment of the populace eats up everything they say. I find it fascinating, really. I try not to listen to too much of it - it makes my heart palp out like mad - but it's important to listen to what they're saying so we know what's coming.

      Personally, I think Limbaugh just loves to hear himself talk, and loves to be a rabble rouser. But that's just me.

      "Pictures are better than words, cause some words are big, and hard to understand." Peter Griffin.

      by Leigh3352 on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 02:23:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I used to listen to him (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BayAreaKen, Leigh3352

        for entertainment before his bigotry became too outright for me to stand it.  By his own descriptions of himself, he seems to be an untreated bipolar alcoholic at least, and I wouldn't be surprised if he has some sort of personality disorder to boot.  He does lie and is sometimes "in character", but I think he is one example of a radio personality that is really that person IRL too.  That's probably why so many liberals I know still listen to him out of a sort of perverse fascination.

        Your political compass Economic Left/Right: -6.50 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.67

        by bythesea on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 02:30:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  For The Past Decade, Maybe 2-3 Times A Month (3+ / 0-)

          I'll listen to all three hours. What stuns me, heck even if you agree with him, is that his show and his talking points almost never change. It is the same thing hour after hour, day after day, month after month.

          Now I work in advertising/marketing, so yes I understand the importance of repetition. Generally speaking most studies have found you need to be exposed to a message 7-9 times before it sinks in.

          But give me a break. Don't his daily listeners get bored?

          Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

          by webranding on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 02:35:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He keeps it going (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Leigh3352

            with personal anecdotes, and bizarre unhinged emotional outbursts occasionally (that even his supporters seem to understand are nuts) and that keeps 'em coming back to see what might happen.  It's sort of like NASCAR (which I also can't stand) where many keep watching a boring and repetitive thing in secret hopes of seeing a car-wreck.

            Your political compass Economic Left/Right: -6.50 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.67

            by bythesea on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 02:41:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I've wondered about that? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Leigh3352

            Don't their listeners get bored?  Of course, "Liberal Media" has to defend everything and that does get boring to me.  Sigh.

    •  Even my ultra-right-wing dittohead friend (4+ / 0-)

      who calls Rush Limbaugh "Uncle Rush" cannot stand Savage. What does that tell you?

      Proud to live in a Blue State!

      by Sister Havana on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 02:54:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You ask (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judgment at Nuremberg

    Are they ignorant or just stupid?

    It's their job to spew bigoted, Republican talking points. They get paid very well for it. I would suppose they want to peddle the lies, too, or else they might just bring a gun to work one day, and blow their brains out on air.

    klaatu barada nikto

    by JohnGor0 on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 02:17:51 PM PDT

  •  Do NOT be mistaken (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leigh3352, TDreamer

    These people are farrr from stupid. Many are very intelligent people adept at persuading people who dont have their critical thinking caps on at all times. I admit, I used to be one of the herd. I still listen back from time to time, but thats only to hear 'what they want me know'. I think knowing what they want you to think is important.

    •  They are not stupid, and they are very dangerous. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding

      How many diaries do we have on kos where we debate their point of view? We're supposed to be the intelligent ones, yet we let them set the agenda far too often. It's no wonder that they are able to warp less informed minds.

      While we discuss their "laughable" and outrageous, talking points, how many sick minds teetering on the edge of violence heard them shout "jump"?

      •  IMHO This Is What So Many Folks Don't Get Here (3+ / 0-)

        I work out of my house. Sit in front of a computer with four monitors going, Kos or another blog usually up on one screen. RSS feeds from dozens of industry publications and media/political outlets on another. Air America or NPR streaming as background noise. I read about politics for at least 1.5 hours a day.

        Myself, and many like us here are in the vast minority. I'd bet about 90-95 percent of the population spend less then a few minutes a day educating themselves, reading a paper or watching news.

        Now I am not saying they are dumb. But they may have a family. Working two jobs. Enjoy hunting, fishing, or playing golf as a hobby instead of dealing with politics (a hobby of mine).

        And you are right, that is why right wing radio and now Fox Noise is so dangerous. They turn if on as they drive to work or fix dinner and they become their primary, maybe only media outlet. When you have the same message pounded into your head 24/7 and you don't have the time (or maybe even the desire) to find other viewpoints or fact check, you get the current situation we have now, where 40+ percent of people are going to vote for McCain.

        Let us not forget New Orleans. Visit Project Katrina.

        by webranding on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 02:42:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Only if they believe... (0+ / 0-)

      If the radio talk host believe the crap that comes out of their mouths, then they are stupid.  But one day, the images their eyes send their brains will be correctly interpreted, and that will be a fine day indeed.

  •  One of the many dumb things ive recently heard (3+ / 0-)

    "The real men arent going to college, the real men are staying home b/c they know that the curriculum has been feminized."

    - Rush Limbaugh

    I cant imagine how happy that would make them if this were true.

  •  Stupid or Ignorant? (3+ / 0-)

    How about Bought and Paid for?

    "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power." B. Franklin

    by istari5th on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 02:35:47 PM PDT

  •  Not stupid or ignorant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hillbilly Dem, istari5th

    Malicious and greedy.

    •  Ain't America great? (3+ / 0-)

      You too can make a ton of money lying to your fellow citizens.

      Now, here in the land of the free and the home of the brave, we believe in free markets.  

      Therefore, he who lies the best and brainwashes the most, earns the real money.

      Remember...Wealth=Respect.

      Doesn't matter how you get it, just get it.

      "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power." B. Franklin

      by istari5th on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 02:50:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not stupidity per se (3+ / 0-)
    It's the classical psychology of the authoritarian.
  •  They're entertainers... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judgment at Nuremberg

    whose audience is not particularly bright and doesn't want a reasoned discussion of the problems-of-the-day.  They want a well defined scapegoat to carry the blame for their cruddy life.  Libruls, muslims, fags, immgrants, Clinton (either will do), etc, etc.

    Don't be a DON'T-DO... Be a DO-DO!

    by godwhataklutz on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 03:28:21 PM PDT

  •  Never Make the Mistake of Thinking They're Stupid (0+ / 0-)

    The pundits are experts at spin, making lies sound plausible and turning half-truths into whole lies. I think that one reason both Gore and Kerry lost was that they didn't take this kind of thing seriously. Their attitude was "Who would believe this kind of thing? Its so obviously a lie, so hypocritical, so nonsensical."

    We must always keep in mind that most people are busy living their lives, trying to pay their bills, raise their kids, and the only news they get is a few sound bites each day and the radio talk shows they listen to on their way to work.  So we have to contact them and let them know what's going on....talking with them, giving them the facts, letting them know that there are two sides two every question. And you don't win over people by calling them stupid. Most of them are willing to listen....you'll soon know the relative few who won't change their mind no matter how much truth you present to them.

    •  Stupid is as stupid does (0+ / 0-)

      I agree with this comment.  I don't want to make the mistake of assuming they're stupid.  Clearly, they know how to make a lot of money.  But, eventually a conscience is suppose to kick in.  If you tell a lie long enough, you're going to belive it yourself.  And to me, that's just stupid.

  •  They aren't stupid, they're paid propagandists. (0+ / 0-)

    Why do we even buy into the idea that they are valid spokespersons for the right, when they are simply propaganda tools, carefully assembled and distributed, to orchestrate the agenda of the right wing revolution.

    Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

    by doinaheckuvanutjob on Tue Jul 29, 2008 at 04:22:50 PM PDT

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